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Final Score: UConn Men’s Basketball Takes Wire-to-Wire Win Over UCF, 64-49

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The Huskies’ shots were falling early and often in a much-needed win over the UCF Knights.

NCAA Basketball: Central Florida at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

With the burden of four straight losses on their shoulders, Kevin Ollie’s UConn Huskies dominated from start to finish in a convincing win over the UCF Knights, 64-49.

It looked like a much different team than the one which started conference play with three ugly losses. Hopefully, this is the confidence-building win UConn needed to get moving in the right direction heading into an important stretch against Temple, Georgetown, and SMU.

The Huskies jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game and finished a rock-solid 47% from the field to end the first half. Rodney Purvis scored six of those first 10 points with two three-pointers on his way to a 17-point performance. When he’s doing well it usually means good things for UConn.

The Huskies were able to keep up the hot shooting by finishing at 47% for the game. Vance Jackson had another promising outing, going 4-of-6 from the field, including 2-for-2 from three, for 11 points.

The Huskies moved the ball around nicely, did a good job of mixing up their approach, and hit their shots against the 9th-best efficient defense in the country, per KenPom, going into this game. Jalen Adams had some nice buckets but also did a great job of spreading the ball around to his teammates with seven assists to go along with 10 points.

The big men once again posted solid outings, as Kentan Facey (8 points, 9 rebounds, 4-9 shooting) and Amida Brimah (9 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks) played efficiently and showed little fear going up against 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall. Though he made 7-footer Amida Brimah look tiny, Fall had a much smaller impact. He only grabbed three rebounds and was held scoreless in the game.

UConn played great team defense. The Huskies held UCF to just 21% shooting after the first half and the Knights finished just 33% from the field. Leading scorers B.J. Taylor and Matt Williams got theirs, with 18 and 11 points, respectively, but a good chunk of it came late and they needed a lot of shots to get there.

UCF is not a bad team at all. In fact, the Knights had recently beaten Temple, who UConn can expect a spirited effort from on Wednesday, quite convincingly. The Huskies just played really well. Hopefully, this is a turning point in the season and they can at least play at the smooth functional level we just witnessed.

It was the season’s most complete effort by the Huskies to date, and it was much-needed after UConn, amidst a season of disappointment, had just suffered an off-court loss with the recruiting decision of Hamidou Diallo.

With their first conference win under their belt, UConn needs to work on putting together a winning streak and hopefully keep raising its level of play throughout the season. The Huskies will be in action next when they host Temple in Gampel Pavilion at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.